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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: THE TOXICITY OF PYRROLIZIDINE ALKALOID-CONTAINING PLANTS AND OTHER HEPATOTOXIC AND NEUROTOXIC PLANTS

Location: Poisonous Plant Research

Title: Effects of Senna occidentalis seeds ingested during gestation on kid behavior

Authors
item Barbosa-Ferreira, M -
item Pfister, James
item Gotardo, A -
item Raspantini, P -
item Gorniak, S -

Submitted to: Poisoning by Plants, Mycotoxins, and Related Toxins
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: May 18, 2010
Publication Date: May 1, 2011
Citation: Barbosa-Ferreira, M., Pfister, J.A., Gotardo, A.T., Raspantini, P.C.F., Gorniak, S.L. 2011. Effects of Senna occidentalis seeds ingested during gestation on kid behavior. In: Riet-Correa, F., Pfister, J., Schild, A.L., Wierenga, T., editors. Poisoning by Plants, Mycotoxins, and Related Toxins. Cambridge, MA. CAB International. 40:264-9.

Interpretive Summary: Senna occidentalis is a toxic weed that poisons various livestock species in tropical and sub-tropical areas worldwide. Although the plant is consumed by livestock, there is little information about the effects of prolonged exposure to low doses of S. occidentalis on developmental toxicology. This study evaluated the toxicity of S. occidentalis seeds in pregnant goats and the resultant offspring. Twenty-one pregnant goats were fed rations containing 0% (control), 1% (So1 group), 2% (So2 group) and 4% (So4 group) mature S. occidentalis seeds from gestation day 27 until parturition; weight gains and serum biochemistry of dams and offspring were evaluated. Fetuses were evaluated using ultrasonographic measurements; neonates were evaluated by body morphometry, weight gains, and serum biochemistry. Fetal resorption occurred in 2 So4 dams and one dam died. Only a few minor alterations in serum biochemistry occurred in dams and kids; even so one So4 group dam had tissue lesions as vacuolations in hepatocytes and kidneys, as well as necrosis in skeletal and cardiac muscles. Lesions were observed in sciatic nerve cells. No alterations in body morphometry were observed. This study suggests that 4% S. occidentalis seeds is toxic for pregnant goats, but levels of seeds less than 4% have little impact on fetal and neonate development.

Technical Abstract: Senna occidentalis is a weed toxic to different animal species. Very little is known about the effects of prolonged exposure to low doses of S. occidentalis on developmental toxicology. Thus, the present study proposes an approach to evaluate the perinatal toxicity of S. occidentalis seeds in goats. Twenty-one pregnant goats were fed rations containing 0% (control), 1% (So1 group), 2% (So2 group) and 4% (So4 group) mature S. occidentalis seeds from pregnancy detection on day 27 after mating until parturition; weight gains and serum biochemistry were evaluated. Fetuses were evaluated using ultrasonographic measurements; neonates were evaluated by body morphometry, weight gains, and serum biochemistry. Fetal resorption occurred in 2 So4 dams and one dam died. Only a few minor alterations in serum biochemistry occurred in dams and kids; even so one So4 group dam had tissue lesions as vacuolations in hepatocytes and kidneys; necrosis in skeletal and cardiac muscles and for the first time lesions were observed in sciatic nerve cells. No relevant alterations in body morphometry were observed. This study suggests that 4% S. occidentalis seeds is toxic for pregnant goats, but levels of seeds less than 4% have little impact on fetal and post birth body development.

Last Modified: 9/2/2014
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